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  • March 26, 2020

    Amazon’s Premier League performance – No challenge for pr [...]

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    Amazon aired its first set of Premier League matches in December, with proxy figures supporting reports that it attracted up to 2 million concurrent viewers
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  • March 25, 2020

    Recommendations: Dealing with COVID-19 based cyberattacks and sca [...]

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    There have been many reports of cyber criminals using the COVID-19 pandemic to trick users into installing cyber viruses, purchasing false products and/or divulging sensitive personal or business information. Whilst this trend is disturbing it is also being combined with a massive and global shift to employees working from home which in turn exposes security vulnerabilities into a wide range of home devices and networks. Although these risks are evolving, this report outlines some of the current cyber scams, the shift to working from home and immediate recommendations for businesses with staff working from home.
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  • March 19, 2020

    Mobile payments – billion dollar opportunity in New Zealand to [...]

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    Payments has emerged as one of the key areas of disruption. The shift from physical to electronic payments has seen an ever-expanding range of payment methods replacing cash. From mobile banking and contactless cards to phone payments and bespoke apps, the payment landscape is undergoing a quiet revolution.
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  • March 13, 2020

    Gaming’s mainstream decade – Five defining themes for the [...]

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    2020 promises a year of transition for the games industry: eSports and games broadcasting are competing with traditional programming; game streaming services are becoming meaningful platform competition; and new consoles are on the way
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  • March 10, 2020

    Amazon Advertising: From Duopoly to Triopoly in advertising?

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    Over the past two decades, global ecommerce giant, Amazon has focused on owning entire market verticals with books being the first market that it dominated. However, to think of Amazon as just an online retailer, would be underestimating the depth and breadth of its presence across multiple markets. Amazon’s ultimate aim is to curate the customer’s entire e-commerce journey. Amazon not only sells products; it also produces television shows and movies; publishes books; operates the world’s largest streaming video-game platform; manufactures a growing array of products. More recently the bright spot was Amazon’s advertising business, which appears to be picking up speed again.
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  • March 5, 2020

    Virgin Media UK: Pain before gain

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    Virgin Media’s subscriber base fell again in Q4, although strong ARPU growth allowed a slight acceleration in cable revenue growth to 1.8%, and a deceleration in OCF decline to 1%. Liberty Global group OCF guidance of mid-single digit decline in 2020 is likely to be mirrored at Virgin Media, as regulatory pressure and market competitiveness continue to bite, and mass-market demand for ultrafast remains nascent.
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  • March 3, 2020

    The BBC: Benefiting the UK creative economy

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    A monolith within the broadcasting landscape and the greater UK creative economy, the BBC, instructed by its Charter, is a guaranteed leader of investment in local and quality content, tech, regionality, and diversity
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  • February 27, 2020

    Vocus 1H20 update: Network Services and New Zealand perform well, [...]

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    On 19th February 2020, Vocus announced its 1HFY20 results which were largely in line with expectations. In 2019, Vocus had initiated a 3-year transformation process and an organisational restructure was part of this process. The company was organised into three groups.
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  • February 25, 2020

    Insurtech White Paper Part II: Australian Insurtech Market Overvi [...]

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    This is the second of three reports in Venture Insights’ series on Insurtech, following on from our discussion of trends in global insurtech.
  • February 24, 2020

    Show me the money – broadcasters and sports rights on an unsust [...]

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    It is Venture Insights’ view that traditional Australian broadcasters will be unable to fund further increases to the cost of tier one sports as they continue to suffer from declining revenues in hyper-competitive markets. As such, premium Australian sports are likely to further split their rights, selling portions to non-traditional telco or tech players. In the long-run, Australian sports may even look at selling their content direct to consumer through ‘over the top’ distribution models.
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  • February 20, 2020

    Consumers endorse Disney’s digital transition

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    Recruiting 29 million subscribers in twelve weeks, Disney+ has stormed the US market. Furthermore, the two million gain achieved after the holidays and the completion of The Mandalorian, relatively high ARPU, and rising Hulu and ESPN+ subscriptions bode well. Conversely, booming (but expected) losses of direct-to-consumer platforms—due to increase as Disney+ launches in Europe in March—are undermining group profitability
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  • February 19, 2020

    Telstra and Optus: Falling ARPUs, increase in price sensitive mar [...]

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    Telstra and Optus reported earnings on 13th February 2020. While Telstra reported its 1HFY20 earnings, Optus reported its 3QFY20 earnings. In this report, we have analysed some of the key trends observed across the two major telcos and compared these with Venture’s Australian telco market outlook and forecasts.
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  • February 17, 2020

    Vodafone plods on

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    Vodafone’s revenue performance remains decidedly lacklustre. Italy and Spain are struggling to bounce back, Germany is still languishing, and the UK’s 0.6% service revenue growth is the highlight of the quarter. Liberty Global’s assets are disappointing both in terms of opening financials (revenues and EBITDA 8% and 12% lower than expected respectively) and outlook (now growing at half the rate at the time of deal announcement and guidance for Germany as a whole to be ‘flattish’). Vodafone’s guidance for a pickup in revenue growth to more than 1% in Q4 is encouraging but these are very tentative steps forward in challenging times
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  • February 14, 2020

    TalkTalk UK: FibreNation sorted but challenges remain

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    TalkTalk’s subscriber base and revenue fell again in Q3, and ARPU continued to decline despite good growth in its higher ARPU (but even higher wholesale cost) high speed base. The sale of FibreNation to CityFibre and the accompanying wholesale deal provides much needed cash and de-risking, although the migration to full fibre still brings challenges to TalkTalk given its low price focus. TalkTalk’s shorter term operational outlook is also still very challenging, with growing EBITDA in 2020/21 particularly difficult given stable/declining ARPU and the rising wholesale costs of migrating to high speed broadband
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  • February 13, 2020

    New Zealand 5G update: Still waiting on spectrum auctions with 2d [...]

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    As New Zealand moves towards mass-scale 5G rollout, competition among telcos is forming and the debate around the spectrum sharing is intensifying. Limited 5G services are now being offered by Spark and Vodafone to select customers and they are counting on being able to provide mobile, fixed wireless and IoT services using the same network in the near future to increase their revenues. In this report, we look at the readiness of NZ consumers to move to 5G, the current state of critical spectrum holdings and the key 5G developments in NZ in 2019.
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  • February 12, 2020

    Sky UK FY 2019 results: a solid first full year under Comcast

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    Despite operating in a challenging market, Sky has continued to increase revenues, with the resilient performance of its direct-to-consumer and content businesses offsetting the disappointing drop in advertising income. Across FY 2019, EBITDA was up 12.2%; profit growth driven by a significant reduction in “other” costs as large one-off effects disappear and cost-cutting continues. Extended distribution deals with Netflix and WarnerMedia will protect Sky’s content proposition for the coming future, as would the mooted integration of Disney+
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  • February 12, 2020

    BT: Searching for the nadir

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    BT had a weak December quarter, with revenue falling 3% and EBITDA 4%, despite a recovery at Openreach, mainly driven by tough competition and regulatory hits, with operating metrics solid but not noticeably improving. These hits look set to continue, so the company’s hopes of a return to EBITDA growth in 2020/21 probably hinge on brand and service improvements actually becoming visible in operating performance. A successful full fibre roll-out would be a boon for BT in the longer term, and regulatory developments are headed in the right direction, if not quite there yet. However, its affordability without a dividend cut remains questionable in the current challenging environment
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  • February 11, 2020

    Subscription BBC?

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    The Government appears set on reducing the scale and scope of the BBC by dismantling the licence fee, and in its place pushing for subscription or making payment voluntary, without any evidence of the likely impact. DTT – the UK’s largest TV platform – has no conditional access capability, and so implementation would require another costly and long-term switchover. A voluntary licence fee would inevitably lead to a huge reduction in income. If just those on income-related benefits were not to pay, the shortfall would be over £500 million – in addition to the £250 million the BBC will be funding for over-75s receiving Pension Credit
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  • February 5, 2020

    Australian 5G update: Telstra and Optus build continues, VHA entr [...]

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    2019 was the year 5G launched in Australia making it one of the first countries in the world to launch 5G services. Whilst Telstra and Optus both launched in 2019, Telstra’s focus was centered on 5G mobile services whereas Optus’ 5G launch centered on 5G fixed wireless broadband services. 2020 will see further competition from the MNOs through continued rollout, VHA entry and potential pricing changes. We expect Telstra to continue its rapid 5G footprint expansion in Australia, including to the regional areas. In this report, we look at the readiness of consumers to move to 5G and the key Australian 5G developments in 2019.
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  • February 4, 2020

    Winners and losers as the UK fibres up

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    The speeds made possible by full fibre build are unnecessary for most users in the short term, giving limited commercial advantage to those that can offer them, but are likely to prove essential in the medium/long term. The economics of full-scale, independent alternative networks look very challenging in our view – especially without the support of Sky – although there are some limited arbitrage/cherry-picking opportunities. The Openreach full fibre model makes economic sense under Ofcom’s proposed regulatory framework, provided it retains the lion’s share of the market, although considerable risks remain
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  • January 30, 2020

    Top 5 Media Trends in 2020

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    The 2010s have been an extraordinary decade in media, demonstrating the speed of disruption in the media industry and the need for market participants to constantly innovate to stay relevant and unlock new sources of growth. So, what can we expect to be the top trends to arise in 2020? At first glance, we expect: 1. The SVOD wars to continue to fragment the media industry 2. BVOD will become a centrepiece of the ‘Total TV’ ecosystem 3. Ephemeral social media will see exponentially growing revenue 4. Podcast revenues to grow due to improved infrastructure enabling effective monetisation and a simplified listening experience for greater adoption 5. Pushback against tech giants to create a more level playing field between local and global players This report explores these trends in greater detail and how they will impact the media landscape.
  • January 29, 2020

    Insurtech White Paper Part I: Global Insurtech Trends

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    This is the first of three reports in Venture Insights’ series on Insurtech trends and development locally and globally. The term ‘insurtech’ is a combination of ‘insurance’ and ‘technology’, inspired by the term ‘fintech’. Insurance is a notoriously slow-moving industry, with high barriers to entry, complex business models and stringent regulatory requirements; it has lagged consumer tech and even other financial services in updating its offerings and technology stacks. However, the ‘insurtech revolution’ has been seen as a potential challenge to that complacency.
  • January 28, 2020

    Peacock: the future of ad-supported TV brands?

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    Comcast’s new, on-demand service, launching in April, is an attempt to break NBCU’s unsustainable dependence on sales to Netflix and other SVODs. Peacock provides a path of digital transition for advertising-funded TV with a revamped low-load, high cost-per-thousand model. Reach will be built with a free online tier and distribution to Comcast subscribers. Peacock seeks carriage from other pay-TV operators, with which reciprocal deals would make sense (i.e. HBO Max on Comcast alongside Peacock on AT&T’s platforms. In Europe, where Comcast has no existing major free-TV offering to transition, launching Peacock will be challenging but could present Sky with ideas to counterweigh Netflix on its own service
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  • January 23, 2020

    Can’t spell Media without AI – AI in Media and Video Consumpt [...]

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    Australians love their video content, but as the infamously high piracy of Game of Thrones has gone to show, we don’t like to pay ridiculous amounts for our weekly fix. New entrants in the video market have heeded the call for more affordable content in Australia with the launch of multiple SVOD services in recent years, including the recent announcement of the Disney+ November 2019 launch in Australia. However, overall market growth has been – and will continue to be – relatively stagnant as SVOD replaces incumbent video entertainment platforms.